Essential Cranberry Sauce
The fading afternoon light pierces the fog of delicious scents floating in the kitchen. There’s a Sugar Cream Pie and and an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip pie in the oven. The turkey is swimming in an apple cider-citrus brine, and there are pumpkin muffins cooling on the counter. We began this day before Thanksgiving with a trip to Papa’s for calf feed, and then to town for horse and chicken feed, and insulated work gloves for the kids. The weather is finally frosty in the mornings, though the afternoons are still holding steady in the high 50s. We have so very much for which to be thankful!
The man of the house (currently, that is), helped me make cranberry relish. We based it on Ina Garten’s recipe, but altered it just a bit. The original recipe calls for 1-3/4 cups sugar. You could also use stevia which is a natural sweetener. We like stevia, but it may take some getting used to if you’re stuck on good ol’ sugar.
- Cook a 12 oz. bag of cranberries, 1-3/4 cups sugar (or wait and sprinkle with stevia to taste!), and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the skins pop open.
- Please note: cranberry sauce cooking is much more fun if you have a cute assistant!
- Add a skinned, cored and diced apple, zests of an orange and a lemon and their juices, and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, and serve chilled. (And this is the step we altered quite a bit!)
We didn’t use the Granny Smith apple in the original recipe. Why? Well I guess it’s because I was raised on a fruit farm and there are so many lovely varieties of apples that I think it’s a crime to settle for Granny Smith or (uggh!) Red Delicious. If ever there was an apple that tasted like a worn out shoe, Red Delicious fits the bill. When it comes to flavor the Red Delicious is absolutely worthless. But I digress! Use whatever variety of apple you enjoy.
Now instead of squeezing the juices from the orange and lemon, I used one drop each of tangerine and lemon essential oils. The flavors are so much deeper. Try it. Your taste buds will flip out and tingle all the way to your toes! And hey, if you don’t have any essential oils handy I can help! The cranberry sauce is delicious, either way. We made a double batch, so I didn’t mind that the kids spooned some into a bowl and proceeded to dip pretzel crackers in it. Yum, is all I have to say about that!
I hope you are enjoying these blessed days. I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful, treasured Thanksgiving. Gather your people close and relish their company. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!